370kg of cocaine found in Coca-Cola factory in France
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Coca-Cola workers found a huge stash of cocaine when they opened a delivery of fruit juice concentrate from Costa Rica at their factory in southern France.
The haul, which came from Costa Rica, weighed 370kg (815 pounds) and has a market value of AUD $74 million (USD $55 million) said prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux, according to local newspaper Ver-Matin . Those figures could not be confirmed by Coca-Cola.
The Coca-Cola factory in the town of Signes, near the Mediterranean coast, produces concentrates for various drinks. A spokesman for Coca-Cola France says employees immediately notified police and judicial authorities have opened an investigation.
“You can well imagine the surprise,” said a spokesman for Coca-Cola, adding that the workers who found the drugs were ruled out as potential suspects.
Sacks containing the drugs were hidden in a shipping container holding orange juice arrived at the factory on August 26.
The Marseille prosecutor’s office said Wednesday it opened an investigation into trafficking and importing illegal drugs.
Coca leaves were reportedly used in the original Coca-Cola drink, created in 1886 by US pharmacist John Pemberton, although the company says cocaine has never been an “added ingredient.”